April 24, 2014

TPA First Friday Film, Happy, April 6 at Yoga Desa

 

What do a rickshaw driver in India, a river guide in Louisiana and a volunteer in Mother Theresa’s Home for the Dying have in common? In spite of their apparent poverty, they are all extremely happy.

Their stories, along with the new science of happiness, are explored in the documentary, Happy, screening as the TPA First Friday Film at 8 p.m. on April 6 at Yoga Desa.

What is happiness? How can we all be happier? The documentary combines real‐life human drama and cutting‐edge science to provide answers to those questions.

The film leads viewers on a journey across five continents in search of insights into the mysteries of happiness. Along the way, the film addresses some of the fundamental issues we face in today’s society: how do we balance the allure of money, fame and social status with our needs for strong relationships, health and personal fulfillment?

Happy leads us toward a deeper understanding of why and how we can pursue more fulfilling, healthier and happier lives.

“Spending the past five years exploring happiness for this film has been even more rewarding than I could have imagined,” says director Roko Belic whose directorial debut, “Genghis Blues” (1999), in collaboration with his brother, Adrian Belic, was nominated for an Academy Award for best documentary feature and won the Sundance Audience Award.

In 2005, director Tom Shadyac (Liar Liar, Bruce Almighty) handed Roko Belic a New York Times article entitled, “A New Measure of Well‐Being From a Happy Little Kingdom.” The article ranked the United States 23rd on its list of happiest countries. Shadyac, himself dissatisfied with his Beverly Hills lifestyle, asked Belic to make a documentary investigation into the origins of human happiness and why the U.S. ranks so low. This simple inquiry led to a global exploration of happiness research.

“When I spoke with Ed Diener, a world leader in the field of happiness research,” recalls Belic, “he told me that people’s values are among the best predictors of their happiness. People who value money, power, fame and good looks are less likely to be happy than people who value compassion, cooperation and a willingness to make the world a better place.”

Happy takes the viewer from the bayous of Louisiana to the deserts of Namibia, from the beaches of Brazil to the mountains of Bhutan. Adrian Belic, the cinematographer and associate producer, will be at the screening to discuss the film and answer questions.

Screening begins at 8 p.m., April 6 at Yoga Desa in Pine Tree Circle, 120 N. Topanga Cyn. Blvd. There will be a cheese/veggie potluck at 7:45, film at 8 p.m.

A $10 donation is requested, but no one is turned away for lack of funds. If you arrive early, please do not disturb the yoga class in session. For further information, contact Julie Levine at (310) 455-9389.